Wednesday, November 07, 2012

update on the quilting

The quilt that I'm working on is coming along quite nicely. I find my work tends to come in stops and starts, as it is with most of my hobbies. Some days I'd just really rather be reading a book (and Joseph Anton: A Memoir is proving to be a slow read, but I'm savouring every page) or baking something delicious. Some days or weeks life gets busy, or I get sucked into extreme tiredness (all this sleeping I've been doing lately seems a little overboard) and nothing gets done.

At this point though I'm just finishing quilt blocks 23 and 24, as I try to work on two identical blocks at the same time. The whole project has been a little fly by the seat of my pants and just teaching myself some basics and working from that point. Right now I'm deciding just how big I want this thing to be. After these blocks are done I'm planning on laying things out and seeing if I like the size of a four by six block quilt or if I want to get a hair more fabric and grow the quilt just a touch more. I'm getting to the point where I'm almost done with the blocks though.

I've already made a few more decisions on the quilt construction that are soon going to be ready to implement. I'm going to put contrasting, solid borders both between the blocks and around the edge of the quilt. Which means once I've got my blocks finished I have to pick up some new fabric for that, and I have to decide whether I'm going with black or fuschia for the borders, then there's more cutting and sewing. My other plan is that if I do black borders, I'm doing fuschia backing or vice versa. That seems fairly straightforward, just based on how easily piecing the blocks has gone.

What's the most exciting right now is that after I finish the quilt top, I get to start on constructing the quilt and doing the actual "quilting" aspect, where I get to join all three layers (quilt top, batting, and backing) together. It's a very new sewing skill, but I'm rather excited about starting it, and I think it's going to be fun. Maybe in two or three months I'll have an actual finished quilt, given that I'm intend on doing every stitch by hand.

At this point I've come up with a few lessons that I'm definitely going to take to heart when I start my next quilt. Next time is going to be a little less experimental in that I'm actually going to design something with a finished size and total design in mind, whether I draw out my own design or go with someone else's design. I'm also going to invest in a bigger self healing mat and a larger quilter's ruler to make life easier in the cutting department. (That bit might seriously be the least fun part of quilting. It's just tedius, but it's not bad.) For sure I'll try to buy all my fabric at once to avoid any dye lot differences because that was one thing I've run into so far that I haven't been thrilled with. And uh, maybe I'll buy fabric at a fabric store instead of Wal-mart?

As it happens the next project is sort of slowly taking place in my mind. While I really want to do a quilt that both Bunny and I love, with some colour concessions as I'm pulling for grey and purple and he'd like orange for the whole thing, that's a few projects away. There's someone very near and dear to us who is expecting in about six months and I would really love to make a baby quilt for this new little bundle of joy. I grew up in a family where when there's a baby on the way you make something for it, and I'm not exactly known for knitting cute little baby clothes. I think a baby quilt will do nicely, and I've got some great plans there.

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